How OTT platforms are redefining entertainment for millenials

The OTT market has grown multifold over the past few years due to pandemic-induced lockdowns as well as an increase in internet penetration. For millenials, these platforms offer quality content without the hassles of fixed TV schedules.
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Binge-watching is no longer a part of our lives but has become the new-age lifestyle. All thanks to the OTT platforms, our weekends are usually spent rolling up in our blankets, eating our comfort food, and binge-watching our favorite shows!

The growing prominence and promising future of the OTT space

It is indeed an undeniable fact that the OTT segment in India has been booming over the years. The shift in consumer preferences is one of the major reasons driving the growth of this space. The audiences are now moving away from television sets and are spending their time exploring and viewing online content.

As per India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian media and entertainment industry presently stands at the cusp of robust growth. OTT occupies a prominent position in this segment and the research by IBEF further states that the OTT video services market comprising of video-on-demand and live services is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.52 percent and will be valued at $5.12 billion by FY26.

The rapid transformation of the OTT space coupled with the surging demand for quality content will boost the growth of the segment in India.

Various industry reports also suggest that India might soon be the second-largest OTT market after the US. These studies are indicative of the fact that while the space is flourishing, OTT in India seems to have a promising future as well!

The impact of the pandemic on the Indian OTT segment

The OTT market witnessed exponential growth last year with the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic-induced lockdown and social distancing norms enabled people to work from home and explore other forms of entertainment apart from the traditional practices of television and radio.

Since the theatres were also shut, the producers and directors had to resort to OTT platforms for their movie releases.

The Indian media and entertainment industry thus took a drastic turn during this time and OTT emerged at the forefront. As a result, it has gained prominence in a short span of time and boasts of a huge audience base dominated by millennials.

The millennial’s inclination towards the Over The Top platforms

While this shift in content and viewership preferences has happened in consumers across age groups; it is specifically the younger audiences and the millennials that have been drawn to this trend of watching digital content.

TV viewing comes with fixed timelines and the audience now seems to be experiencing fatigue from the sameness and redundancy in TV content. This trend was highlighted in a former report by YouGov, the Indian arm of market researcher and a leading print publication.

This research stated that the market share of millennials watching OTT and online entertainment in 2018 was 48 percent and surpassed the TV watching share which was 43 percent Ever since then, OTT space has undergone rapid transformations and hence the share of the millennial generation watching OTT has also increased.

The shift is happening gradually but is real. Television demands a particular schedule that young audiences can't adhere to. Adding to it, television viewing is usually family time but mobile phones and online viewing is personal. OTT platforms offer go-to viewing which allows millennials to consume content as per their schedules and preferences.

The ‘Over The Top platforms’ also offer global as well as regional content thereby offering a plethora of options for viewers to choose from. Furthermore, digital content is realistic, relevant, and spread across genres.

Hence, consumers increasingly prefer video-based viewing. OTT platforms with their anytime, anywhere model have been able to gain traction and an increase in subscribers as well!

The government supporting the growing Indian OTT space

As per Wikipedia’s report, India has over 40 OTT providers as of now. Due to its exponential growth, the market has been receiving support from the government as well. The digital content including movies and web shows on OTT platforms is now included under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since November 2020.

Adding to it, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation was renamed as Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF) in May this year. These initiatives are indeed a testimony of the fact that the OTT space is flourishing!

OTT driving the need for manpower

With the OTT domain booming and consumption increasing, the need for manpower is also surging to cope with the growing demand.

OTT thrives on content diversity and since regional as well as global content is available in abundance; the market is emerging to be the hub for better career prospects.

The aspirants are now taking the leap and are keen to follow their passion. They view OTT as a promising field that is inclusive, welcomes talent with open arms, and offers diverse career opportunities at the global level based on talent and experiences across age groups, levels, and job profiles!

OTT offering pushing the need for talent showcasing as well as sourcing platforms

As the space is growing, it is also offering a myriad of career prospects for newcomers specifically seeking to enter the media and entertainment industry. Nowadays, web series enjoy fame due to the star-studded cast but are also being recognised for helping deserving talent make their debut in the industry.

This trend has further pushed the need and growth of talent sourcing and showcasing platforms in India. Such platforms not only help the artists in showcasing their talent but also help in bridging the demand-supply gap in the market. Thus, they are emerging to be the dire need of the hour!

Summing up!

Television viewing will continue to be an important part of the Indian households and their family-bonding times. OTT, on the other hand, has emerged to be the most recent and popular new-age source of entertainment. However, it is anticipated that TV and OTT will indeed coexist in the times to come.

The young audience especially millennials prefer digital content over the conventional TV viewing practice due to their fast-paced lives as well as the convenience and flexibility offered by the OTT platforms. Thus, it would be appropriate to say that millennials are bidding goodbye to traditional entertainment sources and are embracing the OTT era to indulge in binge-watching innovative and creative online content!

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)